Every year there’s the same issue...

Coyotes, foxes, bobcats, boar and the like kill off livestock and pets. It’s not only a nuisance, it can impact the local population of wildlife. These animals are just trying to survive, but if their population isn’t controlled, it can be detrimental to an ecosystem. Predator hunting is growing in popularity due to the fact that it’s providing a service, keeping our local farmers livestock protected, and with things such as night vision, thermal optics, and’s a LOT easier than it used to be.

First thing you need to do is do a little reconnaissance on what you’re hunting. Trail cameras and spotting scopes like the Leupold LTO thermal spotting scope can help you find and see what the predators are doing in your hunting area. You can monitor their paths, around what time they show up, and if you’re lucky, where they bed down at. Once, you start to see patterns and assess what kind of animal is causing havoc on the land, you develop a strategy. Most nuisance animals in my area are coyotes, so I’ll go into detail about how to hunt them, but most predators have a similar hunting strategy. 

Unfortunately their keen senses make it difficult to get in close, so usually you’ll have to punch out to some distance in order to be successful. The .223 caliber is probably the most popular Coyote round and is readily available at most sporting goods stores and is a solid option for pretty much all smaller predators. It’s my go to caliber for boar, foxes, and coyotes I tend to use a modern sporting rifle when hunting because I can make the necessary adjustments needed on the fly.

Using animal distress calls is a good way to get them to be active and draw them in. It’s imperative that you plan out your actions in advance. Safety is the most important thing when doing anything firearms related, so I always go hunting with a buddy in case of emergency. It’s also a great bonding experience, and you can have two sets of eyes. It’s helpful to have one person doing the distress call so you can do the necessary tasks to make the firearm ready to shoot without scaring them off. 

Get to your spot after you’ve already eaten and used the restroom in case you’re gonna need to be out there for a while. When I get into my hunting blind/position, I set up my bipod, it’s mounted to the front of my rifle to increase stability and accuracy. I make sure my eye protection is on and hearing protection (if not running suppressed) I tend to run a suppressor because they are legal in my state, and in the off chance there’s a pair of coyotes, which there sometimes is, also so I can communicate with my hunting partner without the need of hearing protection (which if you’re not using a suppressor, you should ALWAYS wear). Survey the area with your buddy, and use a distress call to bring them out if you haven’t found any. It’s just a matter of location and time, which you should already have the location covered after doing your research on the predators. Once you spot one, communicate either with whispers or hand signaling to let your partner know. Look down your scope to make sure you’re aware of the target and what’s behind it and when you know you’re good to go, take aim. When you’ve lined up your shot, take a deep breathe in and hold just before you pull the trigger to minimize body movement and improve your focus. If all goes as planned, you’ll be going home happy knowing that you’ve done your part to keep the ecosystem in check and protected the live stock in your area!